Questions of interpretation on the Novel Food Regulation - Topic Spermidine
Reference for a preliminary ruling from the LG Graz, Case C-141/22 - Questions of interpretation concerning the Novel Food Regulation / Subject: Spermidine
The method relates to a food supplement comprising Spermidine, in which buckwheat seed germinates into sprouts as hydroponics in a nutrient solution containing synthetic spermidine. After harvesting, the seedling is washed with water, dried and ground into seedling meal. The production process does not produce more sprouts than seedlings are used. The spermidine content of buckwheat seedling flour is 3.5 mg per gram.
The court referred the following questions to the ECJ:
1) Is Article 3(2)(a)(iv) of Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 to be interpreted as meaning that "high spermidine buckwheat seedling flour" constitutes a novel food, provided that only buckwheat seedling flour with a non-increased spermidine content has been used to a significant extent for human consumption in the European Union before 15 May 1997 or has a history of use as a safe food thereafter, irrespective of how the spermidine enters the buckwheat seedling flour?
2) If the answer to Question 1 is in the negative, is Article 3(2)(a)(vii) of Regulation 2015/2283 to be interpreted as meaning that the term 'food manufacturing process' also includes processes in primary production?
3) If the answer to Question 2 is in the affirmative, does the question of the novelty of a manufacturing process within the meaning of Article 3(2)(a)(vii) of Regulation 2015/2283 depend on whether the manufacturing process itself has never been applied to any foodstuff or whether it has not been applied to the foodstuff under assessment?
4) If the answer to question 2 is in the negative, is the germination of buckwheat seed in a nutrient solution containing spermidine a process of primary production in relation to a plant to which the provisions of food law, in particular Regulation 2015/2283, do not apply, since the plant is not yet a foodstuff before the time of harvesting (Art. 2 lit. c of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 (2))?
5) Does it make a difference whether the nutrient solution contains natural or synthetic spermidine?
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